Battle of Sheriffmuir

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In 1707 the two kingdoms of Scotland and England had been united, a highly unpopular move across much of Scottish society. The Jacobites sought to exploit this not simply to reverse the union, but to gain the crown of both England and Scotland. An abortive rising took place in 1708. Then, in 1714, when the Elector of Hanover succeeded Queen Anne to the throne he alienated a range of former supporters of Anne. One of these, the Earl of Mar, threw in his lot with the Jacobites. In September he began to raise forces to march south to join with English Jacobites, in an attempt to return a Stuart to the throne.

To counter the uprising the government dispatched a combination of Scottish and English regiments under the command of the Duke of Argyll. During October there were various manoeuvres, including against Edinburgh. Then on the 10th November the Jacobite army marched south from Perth, reaching Kinbuck, just north east of Dunblane, on the 12th. Argyll had marched north and was already at Dunblane, intending to intercept the Jacobite force. The government army may have been outnumbered by about 2:1, but it was made up of regulars fighting under an experienced commander.

The two armies clashed on Sheriffmuir, north east of Dunblane in what was to prove the key battle of the 1715 Jacobite rebellion. Though Mar might claim that he held the field, in reality it was a Jacobite defeat, for he retreated back to Perth and the momentum of the uprising was lost.

During the Jacobite risings, the Douglases continued their support for the British Government. Archibald Douglas, 1st Duke of Douglas led the volunteer horse during the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715.  He had assembled and trained 300 of his tenantry to garrison Douglas Castle and town, while he led 'the gentlemen of Lanarkshire' to meet the Duke of Argyll at Stirling. In the battle he served on Argyll's personal staff and 'charged with the cavalry as a volunteer'.

Also at that fight was the Duke's young cousin, Archibald Douglas, 2nd Earl of Forfar, colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Foot but in charge of a brigade, and who was taken prisoner but died of wounds taken there shortly afterwards.

Footnote:
Charles Stirling 3rd of Kippendavie, born Dec. 14, 1680; married first, in 1703, Katherine, second daughter of Alexander Arbuthnott of Knox, second son of the first Viscount Arbuthnott; married second (contract dated Mar. 9, 1709) Christian Douglas, widow of Douglas of Garvald. She is referred to by Sir Walter Scott in his " Tales of a Grandfather," Vol. II, 3d series, p. 24, as assisting the adherents of the Stuart family in the rising of 1715 : " Fresh intelligence came to them from Lady Kippendavie, who seems to have been as correct in her intelligence and accurate in communicating with the insurgent army, as she was singular in her choice of messengers. This last being an old woman, who confirmed the tidings of the enemy's approach." Sheriffmuir, at which the battle of 1715 was fought, is on the property of Kippendavie and is close to the mansion house.
Charles Stirling of Kippendavie died before Nov. 6, 1736. (His son, Patrick Stirling, 4th of Kippendavie married Margaret Douglas daughter of Sylvester Douglas, of Whiteriggs)



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